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Sears And Kmart / save yourself a lot of headaches and avoid these 2 retailers

1 United States

This is long but worth it.

I come from a family of small business owners. My father and 2 grandfathers all owned small retail business'. All 3 men were successful at what they did and much of the reason had to do with honesty and integrity. The only company my father ever complained about when I was growing up was Sears.
Twice he mentioned to me that I should never shop as Sears. Both times he said his opinion was based on customer service and product satisfaction.

I did and didn't listen to him. I never bought anything from Sears - UNTIL I went to work for them as a manager. I was laid off and they offered my a job so I took it. I worked in the customer service call center they have (Had?) in Des Moines, IA many years ago. (I've moved to another state since then) Our office was next door to a Sears telemarketing operation.

Here's the skinny. They tortured their credit card customers with unwanted phone solicitation. You had to say no 3 times before the telemarketer could hang up. These people would naturally call the customer service office with complaints.

Sears would lie to prospective employees about their reponsibilities in either the customer service or telemarketing area. They would describe the workload to employees during the interview, only they would underestimate it by at least 50%.

Now here's the sick part. While there I used my Sears employee discount and bought Sears items. All of them electronics. Name brand manufacturers Sony, Sylvania, Whirlpool, etc. I had never in my lifetime had any problem with these manufacturers items, until I bought them from Sears. The items broke down and even tho I had extended warranties (I know, stupid) they always made it a hassle or just flat out said your S.O.L. I thought it was weird that all the items would break down so fast. I decided it was just a bizarre coincidence.

I moved on and several years later I was living in another state and saw a Sears advertisement for name brand electronics at a great price. Like an idiot I rolled the dice and bought the items. They all broke down within 6 months. (Stereo; VCR/DVD player; Sony Walkman) This time I didn't buy the
extended warranty so I was S.O.L. again.

I can't explain it. For some reason the name brand items they sell are crappier than the same item at another retailer. To this day I can't figure it out why this is true. Let me ad when I worked for them their corporate policies to their employees and customer had one thing in common, contempt. Maybe they treated their vendors poorly as well so Sears got the "damaged" shipments. I don't know. But being a cheap ### I let my greed get the best of me and paid the price.

Now on to the final chapter. Now I'm speaking strictly as a consumer. All my life I have shopped at K-Mart. Cheap prices and cheap products. But by and large I had never had a beef with them - until they acquired Sears. K-Mart came out of bankruptcy and the first thing they did was buy Sears. Stupid decision on their part unless they were going to improve Sears. Nope. The reverse happened. K-Mart customer service went in the same direction as Sears. From subpar to in-your-face crappy. Their new hiring policy appears to be "acquire 17 yr olds with little knowledge and an attitude problem". Since the acquisition (unbeknownst to me at the time) I bought a car battery from K-Mart, a TV and a 2 wheel dolly. All of them broke within 12 months.

Save yourself a lot of headaches and avoid these 2 retailers. And I'll end this with another suggestion without boring you with the details: Firestone retailers have a lot in common with Sears/K-Mart. Also, Federated Dept. Stores recently bought The May Company. Go to their websites and view the many national chain retailers they collectively own. Avoid most of them if you can. These companies have the same management philosophy as Sears/K-Mart. Customer retention is of little importance to them compaired to customer deception. I say this from personal consumer experience with each company mentioned.


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